MARIETTA - Cheryl Cohen loves to cook, so becoming a culinary specialist with a nationally-recognized cooking institution was a natural fit. On Thursday Cohen, from Dover, will be conducting her fourth Taste of Home Cooking School at the Dyson Baudo Recreation Center on the Marietta College campus.
"I've done three shows in Marietta before. Everyone has lots of fun," she said. "I always enjoy it and the shows always have something new for the audience."
Cohen has been involved with cooking in one way or another since she was young.
The popular Taste of Home Cooking School returns to Marietta Thursday, co-sponsored by The Marietta Times, Food 4 Less and Warren’s IGA.
"My interest came from watching my mother and grandmother cook," she said. "In high school I took home economics, then later majored in home economics and education in college, so I have a pretty good background in the food area."
Prior to joining Taste of Home, Cohen conducted a small 30-seat cooking school at a grocery market near her home.
"Now I have crowds from 500 and up," she said. "I think my largest group was around 1,800 people."
Cohen said the cooking school is definitely great entertainment, but also educational.
"We cook with recipes that people can go right home and make with items they'll find in any local grocery store," she said. "And there's something for everyone-those who are just learning to cook as well as experienced cooks."
Recipes used in the Taste of Home Cooking School come from families across the country and are tested in the Taste of Home test kitchens in Milwaukee, Wis., Cohen said.
"We'll be giving away door prizes from both national and local sponsors, including seasonings, beach chairs and a lot of cookbooks," she said. "And everyone gets a goody bag with lots of free items and coupons from our sponsors. The bags will also contain the recipes I'll be cooking from during the show."
As in the past, The Marietta Times is co-sponsoring the Taste of Home Cooking School along with the Food 4 Less and Warren's IGA supermarkets.
"The Marietta Times looks forward to our Taste of Home shows every year," said advertising director Kurt Knopp. "Everyone has a great time, learns a few new recipes, and gets a chance to interact with local retailers. And many people come away with one of about a hundred vendor-supplied door prizes."
He said more than 20 local vendors will be on hand during Thursday's cooking school.
"I've yet to talk to someone who has chosen to attend who didn't tell me they looked forward to coming again the following year," Knopp added.
Food 4 Less owner Bucky Lee agreed.
"It looks to me, judging from our ticket sales, that we're going to have a tremendous crowd Thursday night," he said. "It's a great way for us to give back to the community. We put out about $1,000 worth of produce and will have a lot of samples to give away, as well as a grill for one of the door prizes."
Lee said people come from miles around to attend the Taste of Home Cooking Schools every year.
"It's good, clean fun where families can enjoy an evening together," he said. "And people learn to cook and eat at home, which is still way cheaper than eating out."